The Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) is calling on government and philanthropists to support the service with logistics to facilitate rescue and evacuation operations in the country.
The fleet of tenders the service is currently using has far exceeded the 10 years lifespan, and the service urgently needs to replace them all.
Public Relations Officer of GNFS, Timothy Osafo- Affum, who made the appeal during an interview, said “If you go beyond 10 years in using fire tenders, the cost of maintenance will be high, meanwhile the international standard for using fire tenders is five years.”
He explained that all fire tenders are supposed to last for five years before they are changed, but considering the circumstances in Ghana, most fire tenders are typically used for over a decade.
He told this paper that the service is currently in need of rescue appliances. According to him, a rescue appliance is a complete fire tender that comes with a variety of rescue equipment.
“Presently, we just have a fraction of these rescue appliances for road traffic accidents. Beyond that, the Service doesn’t have another that can perform all sorts of rescue activities,” he noted.
Fire boats needed
Osafo- Affum added that the service is also in need of fire boats for firefighting and rescue purposes.
He indicated that they also are in need of helicopters for both firefighting especially bush firefighting and for rescue purposes.
He stated that the existing logistics requires beef up to facilitate their work.
He mentioned that they need modern fire stations especially for areas such as the 85 Districts the services currently has no access to.
“A modern fire station is a station that has a building and training facilities. A building that has a place called an ‘appliance bay’ where the fire tenders can be parked and can be shielded from the vagaries of the weather,” he added.
Appeal for ambulance
Osafo- Affum further called on government and philanthropists to assist the service with ambulances.
“Presently what we do is to rely on the National Ambulance service, but when it comes to critical situations we do not have access to them as they may also be on official assignments elsewhere,” he explained.
More personnel needed
Outside the aforementioned needs, the Public Relations Officer for the GNFS said that the Fire Service needs additional personnel as they have a big deficit in terms of numbers.
He noted that the service is also in need of additional fire tenders as the service has not been able to make their presence felt in every district in the country
“In as much as we need to replace what we have, we also need more numbers to spread” he stated.
He noted that government is unable to provide all the needs of the service.
In view of this, he wants Ghanaians to come together to help the Fire Service operate more effectively.
85 Districts without Fire Stations
According to data from the Ghana National Fire Service, there are 85 Districts without fire station in the Country.
Ashanti-23 Districts without fire stations
The data provided by the Fire Service shows that 23 Districts in the Ashanti Region do not have fire stations.
Out of the 23 District without fire stations, three Districts have access to a fire post.
A fire post is a place which does not have fire tenders but has about six personnel’s who educate the public on fire related issues whilst a fire station is a fully manned place with fire tenders and all the necessary fire equipment and personnel.
This region is said to be the region with the highest number without fire stations.
Ahafo Region – 1 district without fire station
In Ahafo Region, the data reveals that only one district did not have a fire station.
Bono and Bono East Regions – 6 districts without fire station
Bono and Bono East Regions both have three districts without fire stations.
Central Region – 6 districts without fire station
According to the data, six districts do not have a fire station in the Central Region.
Eastern and Northern Region – 11 districts without fire station
The Eastern and Northern Regions are the regions with the second highest number of districts without fire stations.
The Regions have 11 Districts without fire stations while one out of the 11 from the Eastern Region has a fire post.
Greater Accra Region-10 districts without fire station
The Greater Accra Region is the third on the list with 10 districts without fire stations.
North East and Western North Regions- 6 districts without fire station
North East and Western North Regions have three districts respectively without fire stations.
Savannah, Upper East, Upper West, Western and Volta Regions- 10 districts without fire station
Savannah, Upper East, Upper West, Western and Volta Regions have two districts each without fire stations.
Oti Region- 1 district without fire station
The Oti Region is the Region with the least when it comes to districts without fire stations.
The region has only one district without a fire station.